Monday, November 21, 2005

Sonygate:Very expensive mistake

In an ironic twist, it would seem that Sony's copy protection mechanism has itself violated open source copy protection rules. The XCP program (rootkit) creating all the fuss will installs itself on Windows-operated personal computers when consumers play one of 49 CDs from Sony BMG. The program forces consumers to use a music player that comes with the program. This music player contains components from an open-source project, an MP3 player called LAME, it has emerged. Open-source software, if used, needs to be identified as such, so that it can be freely shared with others.

Responding to public outcry over the unsecure software, the music publishing venture of Japanese electronics conglomerate Sony and Germany's Bertelsmann said last week it would temporarily suspend the manufacture of music CDs containing XCP technology. Sony BMG then went a step further and announced it would recall 4.7 million CDs with the rootkit. In a further step, Sony on Friday offered to exchange 2.1 million CD's already sold with the copy protection software for new unprotected CD's. The Sony exchange offer is immediately available, and the company will pay all shipping charges in both directions.

Microsoft's antivirus team said Tuesday it would add a detection and removal mechanism to rid a PC of the Sony DRM copy-protection software, because it jeopardized the security of Windows computers. Symantec, McAfee and CA already have removal tools.

RELATED LINKS: SonyGate : It gets worse, Sony security blunder

CATEGORIES: 1open source, 1legal, 1watergate,1rootkit
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